2018-10-18

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 Winners

Wildlife photography can excite, amaze and educate like no other genre of photography. The 2018 winners of Wildlife Photographer of the Year have been announced. The exhibition opens 19th October 2018 at the Natural History Museum in London.

Here are a selection of the winning images. We had a hard enough time selecting which images to put in this blog, so we can’t imagine what a tough job it must have been for the judging panel!

'The Golden Couple' by Marsel van Oosten - Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
'The Golden Couple' by Marsel van Oosten - Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

'The Golden Couple' by Marsel van Oosten

Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

"As the group of Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys jumped from tree to tree, Marsel struggled to keep up, slipping and stumbling over logs. Gradually he learned to predict their behaviour, and captured this male and female resting. With the Sun filtering through the canopy, they are bathed in a magical light, their golden hair glowing against the fresh greens of the forest.

This pair belongs to a subspecies of golden snub-nosed monkey restricted to the Qinling Mountains. Among the most striking primates in the world, these monkeys are in danger of disappearing. Their numbers have steadily declined over the decades and there are now fewer than 4,000 individuals left."

Image details:

Nikon D810 + Tamron 24–70mm f2.8 lens at 24mm; 1/320 sec at f8; ISO 1600; SB-910 flash

Lounging Leopard-Skye Meaker-Winner 2018-Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year
'Lounging Leopard' by Skye Meaker - Winner 2018 - Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

'Lounging Leopard' by Skye Meaker

Winner 2018 - Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018

"Notoriously shy and elusive, the resident leopards of the Mashatu Game Reserve are hard to spot. But this time Skye was in luck. After tracking the leopards for a few hours, he came across Mathoja – a well-known female. In a fleeting moment, just before the leopard nodded off, Skye captured a peaceful portrait of this majestic creature.

Named by local guides, Mathoja means ‘the one that walks with a limp’ – a title given to her after a serious leg injury as a cub. Although her chances of survival were slim, Mathoja is now a healthy adult. She is one of the lucky ones – this species has been classed as vulnerable and many leopards are illegally hunted for their highly desirable skins."

Image details:

Canon EOS-1D X + 500mm f4 lens; 1/80 sec at f4; ISO 1250


Hellbent by David Herasimtschuk -Winner 2018 - Behaviours Amphibians and Reptiles
'Hellbent' by David Herasimtschuk -Winner 2018 - Behaviours Amphibians and Reptiles

'Hellbent' by David Herasimtschuk

Winner 2018 - Behaviours Amphibians and Reptiles

"Clamped in the jaws of a hungry hellbender salamander, things were not looking good for the northern water snake. But when its attacker repositioned its bite, the snake pushed free and escaped. David was thrilled to catch a battle between these two unlikely foes. ‘I’ve seen hellbenders display an array of behaviours, but this was by far the most remarkable,’ he says.

Hellbenders are the largest salamanders in the USA and are among the most endangered. Usually they hunt for small prey, such as crayfish, insects and eggs, so a northern water snake is an unexpected choice. These amphibians use suction to secure their prey before using their teeth – a method unlikely to subdue a wriggling snake."

Image details:
Sony a7R II + 28mm f2 lens + Nauticam WWL-1 lens; 1/60 sec at f13; ISO 1250; Nauticam housing; Inon Z-240 strobe

The Sad Clown by Joan de la Malla - Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photojournalism
'The Sad Clown' by Joan de la Malla - Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photojournalism

'The Sad Clown' by Joan de la Malla  

Winner 2018 - Wildlife Photojournalism

"Timbul, a long-tailed macaque, puts his hand to his face to try and relieve the discomfort of his mask, while being trained to stand upright for a street show. Sights such as this are common in Indonesia, and Joan spent a long time gaining the trust of the monkey’s owners. ‘They are not bad people,’ she says. Most are earning money to send their children to school.

Macaques like Timbul live in awful conditions, deprived of the social relationships they need to thrive. They work many hours, dancing and riding bikes, movements that are unnatural and uncomfortable. Animal charities are working to enforce legislation that makes it illegal to take young monkeys from the wild or to trade in them without a permit."

Image details:

Nikon D810 + 24–70mm f2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f2.8; ISO 100; Speedlight SB-800 flash

'Mud-Rolling Mud-Dauber' by Georgina Steytler - Winner 2018 - Behaviours Invertebrates

'Mud-Rolling Mud-Dauber' by Georgina Steytler 

Winner 2018 - Behaviours Invertebrates

"Georgina was at the waterhole early to photograph birds, but her attention was diverted to these industrious wasps. They were busy at the water’s edge, rolling the soft mud into balls and carrying them to their nearby nests. For a good angle, she lay in the mud, then pre-focused on a likely flight path and began shooting continuously.

The female mud-dauber wasps use the mud balls to build their nests. Collecting them into clusters, they then carve chambers inside the balls into which the females lay their eggs. Before closing each one up, the wasps insert the paralysed bodies of orb-weaving spiders as food for their larvae when they hatch."

Image details:

Canon EOS-1D X + 600mm f4 lens + 1.4x extender; 1/4000 sec at f8; ISO 1000

Blood Thirsty by Thomas P Peschak - Winner 2018 - Behaviours Birds
'Blood Thirsty' by Thomas P Peschak - Winner 2018 - Behaviours Birds

'Blood Thirsty' by Thomas P Peschak 

Winner 2018 - Behaviours Birds

"Working on a climate change story, Thomas had secured a rare permit to land on Wolf Island, a remote part of the Gal├ípagos Islands. Scrambling over loose rocks to reach this plateau, he spied a bizarre scene – pecking away at the flight feathers of a Nazca booby was a sharp-beaked ground finch. With scarce food alternatives, it had resorted to drinking blood to survive.

Encircled by steep cliffs, with no permanent water and little rainfall, Wolf Island is a difficult place to live. While the boobies can fish in the ocean, the finches are limited to a scant supply of seeds and insects. To survive they drink the blood of the Nazca boobies – a behaviour that may have evolved from feeding on parasites in their feathers"

Image Details:

Nikon D5 + 16–35mm f4 lens; 1/200 sec at f20; ISO 160; Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL flash

Night Flight by Michael Patrick O’Neill - Winner 2018 - Under Water
'Night Flight' by Michael Patrick O’Neill - Winner 2018 - Under Water

'Night Flight' by Michael Patrick O’Neill 

Winner 2018 - Under Water

"Late one night, over deep water, Michael was following a flying fish. By day, they move extraordinarily fast, but at night they swim slowly just below the surface. He tried various shutter and flash settings, all the while keeping track of his small subject. ‘I wanted to create a sense of movement,’ he says.

By rapidly beating their forked tails, flying fish such as this juvenile propel themselves in the water until they take off at the surface. By holding their long, pointed pectoral fins out stiffly, they can glide in the air for several hundred metres, away from underwater predators."

Image details:

Nikon D4 + 60mm f2.8 lens; 1/8 sec at f16; ISO 500; Aquatica housing; Two Inon Z-220 strobes



See more Wildlife related blogs:

11 Essential Accessories for Wildlife Photography
Quickfire Questions with Wildlife Photographer Andy Rouse
Photographing African Wildlife with Sony RX10 III
Photographing Wildlife with Sony G Master Lenses